Where did the money go?

As 2023 draws to a close, TNIE checks out what Malayalis spent on the most this year. Clothes, food, cinema, foreign travel, gaming, gadgets top the list
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

Ranjitha Ramesh, college student, Kochi

This year, I spent most of my money on basic amenities like food and clothing. Between these, I tend to buy more clothing. I shop both online and in person. But I spend more money on in-person shopping. Rather than buying any specific pieces or following fashion trends, I try to buy clothes that fit me the best and the more comfortable ones. Also, I started saving more money this year compared to 2022. 

Irine Paul, student

As a recent college graduate and a hostel inmate, I spent most of my money on daily necessities like food and clothing. I also buy a lot of products for haircare, skincare and makeup. I think, among these, I spend a good amount on skincare. I have tried a lot of products to see what suits my skin. Now, I have developed a proper skincare routine.

Malavika Rajesh, college student

I was a person who liked to save money. But in 2023, I broke my wallet and spent a lot on clothes. I did a lot of online shopping as a lot of new trends emerged this year. I used to feel unhappy after spending money, but when I received the packages from the online stores, I forgot about the money I spent.

Aphrem Basil Joshi, college student

My main expenses this year were on food. I like to order food from food delivery apps online as it is convenient. The type of cuisine that I usually prefer is Arabic, like shawarma, mandi, Al Faham etc. I also like to experiment with new cuisines

Zachariah Joseph, owner, Elza Fast Food Restaurant, Kochi

“Tax is what I would say was the biggest expense I had to bear this year. The GST prices are way too high that most of my earnings are kept aside to meet them. Managing the restaurant also comes with its expenses” 

B Unnikrishnan, a financial expert

“Most of my expenses were allocated towards my investments in stock markets, mutual funds and some chit finances like KSFE. My friends also follow a similar approach” 

Sarath Kottamana, deputy manager of Star Health and Allied Insurance

“My expenses in 2023 were similar to last year. Most of my money went for day-to-day necessities. Also, purchasing a new phone every year has become a tradition for me. However, my biggest expense came in the form of an overseas trip as I went to Malaysia this year”

Anagha P, associate editor at Pravacy Singapore

I spent a lot of money on travel due to frequent trips, as well as for groceries because of the escalated prices of goods and services

Salim K D, a rickshaw driver

“My vehicle was the biggest expense I had to bear this year, like always. My autorickshaw stopped functioning midway through trips a few times; and later, completely broke down. This contributed to a considerable increase in expenditure to the point where it was more than I could afford. Fuel too takes away a significant portion of my earnings” 

Jerrin Abraham, office worker, Kochi

I am a movie buff and I am always excited to share about cinema. My love for movies crosses genres and languages. I have watched more than 50 movies this year. There have been times I spent almost the whole of my salary on it. Apart from movies, I’m also passionate about fashion and have a collection of a wide variety of shoes and shirts. I recently  got myself a new pair of shoes on a six-month EMI scheme.

Shajitha V, traffic warden

It seems like a considerable expense for me is the petrol I use for my daily commute. The distance from home to work is 28km one way. Daily, I spend around Rs 150-200 on fuel. Considering that our daily wage is Rs500, a significant portion goes into buying petrol.

Aishwarya Ashok, engineer, Bengaluru

This was a year of wish fulfilment. My interests range from cosmetics and fashion to electronic gadgets and travelling. Though I had plans to purchase a new phone. While I was out for my grocery shopping at Lulu Mall, I spotted the newly launched iPhone 14 Pro. I found my favourite colour and instantly grabbed it. In December, I will go on a trip to Thailand. So two wishes coming true.

Harihara Subramanian G, Thiruvananthapuram

My routine is related to electronics. My home is equipped with computers and laptops with high-end graphics. I enjoy purchasing new software and working on it. Even at 61, I enjoy playing computer games. Then I like constructing and designing switchboards. I don’t believe entertainment has an age bracket. 

Radhamani K S, retired teacher, Kochi

The main thing I like about being old is that I can spend more time with my grandchildren. My main spending is on medicines. However, I love giving pocket money to my grandchildren. During special occasions like Onam, I like buying dresses, toys and sweets for my grandchildren. I save up money to buy gifts for them.  

Sudhin Puthran, multimedia producer

MY major spending of the year was undoubtedly on movies. Every weekend, I go to the cinema, watching multiple shows from morning to night. And if I find a favourite among them, I will watch them again and again. Booking tickets online comes with extra costs because of GST and handling fees. I think, if I add up all these expenses, they might be enough to make a whole movie.

Compiled by: Aleena S, Gouri Kartha, Nandakrishnan Vellat, Aneetta Rachel Zachariah, Aleena Manoj and Parvana K B

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